Practical experience in the medical field is an often underutilised learning tool for boosting student’s knowledge. International Medical Aid (IMA) is a not-for-profit company aiming to change this. IMA offers pre-health students the chance to travel abroad and work in busy hospitals, utilising their knowledge in a hands-on way. This practical experience is hugely beneficial for giving students a more well-rounded training experience before they enter the healthcare workforce.
IMA was founded by two John Hopkins University alumni who have made it their mission to develop and deliver programs that benefit both interns and the communities they work in. A global network of public and private hospitals ensures that the right program can be found to match the skillset of each intern. These ethical and sustainable efforts are the key to IMA’s success and are crucial for delivering an experience that is valuable for all involved.
With internships in nearly every field of medicine on offer, IMA’s programs attract a wide range of individuals. While their focus is on pre-med students, the internships are also undertaken by medical students, nurses, physician assistants and doctors. These medical professionals specialise in a range of fields such as nursing, dentistry or mental health and each program is carefully structured to suit this. IMA is globally recognised for its dynamic approach which ensures that each intern receives a rewarding experience based on their level of knowledge.
Dedicated clinician mentors accompany the interns on their journey to ensure that they are guided through the process. There is also ongoing support provided by staff back in the US.
The safety of interns and volunteers is a primary focus for IMA. Each program involves training modules which cover infection control and prepare students for region-specific challenges. All interns reside within gated communities that are patrolled 24-7 by security when they are abroad. Each program also includes accident and travel insurance at no additional cost to ensure interns’ safety.
IMA’s internships are currently offered in a range of communities located throughout South America, the Caribbean and East Africa. The local communities in these areas are often underserved in terms of medical care and IMA’s support is greatly valued. IMA works with these communities to develop specific programs that help fight the root causes of illness and disease.
The clinics introduced by IMA give interns the chance to gain firsthand experience in communities that are in great need of medical care. This combination of utilising their skills and making a genuine and meaningful impact makes for a unique and unforgettable experience.
IMA also gives interns the opportunity to explore the local sites and visit fascinating wildlife reserves, national parks, waterfalls and more.
An admissions consulting service is also on offer for interns wishing to discover how to best utilise their experience in their medical school applications.
The opportunity for genuine development provided for interns by IMA is hugely beneficial for furthering their careers and giving them a sense of what it’s really like to help those in need.
Erik Horn has been a senior editor at Health News Tribune for three years. Fluent in French and proficient in Spanish and Arabic, he focuses on diseases and conditions He’s a born-and-raised Torontonian and spends most of his weekends in search of strong coffee and stronger Wi-Fi.